Presentation by the Association of American Colleges & Universities
Caren McTighe Musil: Caren McTighe Musil opens her presentation by connecting it to the morning’s plenary by emphasizing the link between education and economic security and the importance of education to our society. She states that deploying women into leadership is one way to make change in higher education. She notes that HIGHER EDUCATION NEEDS TO BE FRAMED NOT AS A PRIVATE GOOD BUT A PUBLIC GOOD. McTighe Musil points out that education is an important civic mission and cites the democratization of higher education as an important innovation of the 20th century. But we’re not where we need to be yet! McTighe Musil advocates for benchmarks and analysis for holding the higher ed. system accountable for continuing to increase access for all individuals. Interestingly, women have been proven to be some of the strongest advocates for diversity inclusion – and McTighe Musil argues that getting women into positions of power in higher ed. needs to be a priority.
Katrhyn Peltier Campbell: Katrhyn Peltier Campbell presents the status of women from high school to college graduation to PhD attainment to faculty appointment – and beyond. (Keep your eyes open – the aforementioned AACU report will be available around November 2008!) Juicy tidbits:
• Citing the recent (and much blogged about) American Association of University Women survey, Peltier Campbell emphasizes that there is no crisis for boys. Women’s success does not equal men’s demise.
• Who is earning doctoral degrees in terms of minority groups? Well, it’s mostly white women.
• In what fields are women earning degrees? (Sigh.) It’s the traditionally feminized fields like nursing and teaching. Science and technology come in dead last for degree attainment – women are obviously still struggling in the sciences. But don’t lose hope – some improvements have been made and there is some progress.
• How do babies effect academic careers? When women enter the tenure track, if they do not already have children, they are highly unlikely to have children. For college presidents, female presidents are far less likely to have children than their male peers. In other words, family and academic careers don’t mix for women scholars.
Caren McTighe Musil: McTighe Musil steps up to summarize the information Peltier Campbell so succinctly presented. She reminisces about her academic career, which began 35 years ago, versus her daughter’s career, which began in fall 2007. (In other words, thank goodness for Title IX!) Important points:
• Women account for 39% of full-time faculty. But! 3 out of 4 full-time positions are contingency contract work. (Need I give any more reasons for why I am personally skittish about committing myself to an academic life?)
• Women are making the most progress at community colleges in terms of being tenured and attaining leadership positions. (Do the Ivy League and Research 1 Institutions remain old boys’ clubs? Methinks…)
• In terms of faculty ranking, women have made great progress in lower ranking positions (lecturers, assistants, etc) – but not at in the upper ranks (full professors, etc).
• There is parity when folks are hired – but within five years gaps begin to exist (think chasms, continental divides, etc).
• Women of color college presidents aren’t on equal footing in terms of length of tenure or pay.
• Women college presidents are more likely to be divorced or never married than their male colleagues.
McTighe Musil ends on the link between education, prosperity, health, etc – and the systemic problems with who does not have access to higher ed. with a focus on young men of color.
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